Kleenex Memories

Mr Sneezy

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Cherie was jerked off the pillows as the massive sneeze took her, getting a tissue to her mouth just in time. She kept it there, and, sure enough, a second sneeze overwhelmed her at once.


She fell back onto the pillows and blew her stuffy nose as best she could through constricted nasal passages. Despite her discomfort, her vagina tingled a little as it registered her enjoyment of her own sneezing.

Sadly, she considered her plight. Her first annual leave since she had gone straight from university to full time work at the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service two years ago. Now, only a few days into a well-earned rest and she had a whopper of a cold.

Karen was visiting clients in the field, as part of her capacity of legal advisor for the commercial law firm at which she worked. She said she would come home at some stage between meetings to check on her.

Karen. Her demure little rock. Cherie wiped her tickly nose and thought for a moment. She and Karen had celebrated twelve years as a couple not long ago. Choosing the date that Karen had ‘come out’ by impulsively slipping a hand over Cherie's mouth to catch her young schoolfriend's sneeze, they declared it their ‘wedding anniversary,’  a date that had changed their lives forever.

Lovers and sneeze fetishists, a unique pairing and a one in a million chance that they had found each other.

As adults, their relationship was hardly clandestine, any more, but the only other person on the planet who knew just how deep it went was their old friend from university, Julie Thorpe, now a political advisor in Canberra.


Momentarily lost in thought, Cherie had failed to feel another sneezing fit creeping up on her and she was jerked forward again, spraying her pyjama top and the quilt before she could grab a fresh tissue.

‘Ahhhhh....oh.....Ahhhh.....’ She performed facial contortions, panting as she tried to stave off the huge tickle while she snared up the tissue box on the bedside table. Finally securing it in her grasp, she pulled three out for triple protection.

‘AHHHH....AHHATISSHOOISSHOO!!!’ She convulsed violently as she released the double explosion.

Without changing to a dry patch, she blew her nose hard, not waiting to see if it wanted to sneeze yet again.

She examined the contents unashamedly. Colds were one thing, but Cherie had also been known to have hay fever attacks where she would reduce a tissue to a sodden mass in as little as thirty seconds of sneezing.

Cherie fell back onto the pillows, covering her mouth with a fresh tissue as now, a coughing fit took her. Her throat ached uncomfortably and she spat a mouthful of phlegm into the tissue.

‘Three colds id ted years,’ she deadpanned to herself. ‘Bust be subthig goig roud.’

Despite her discomfort, here she was in a sumptuously furnished, luxury unit in upper-class Toorak, the Melbourne suburb where, as Karen put it, ‘you can meet such a lot of interesting money.’

She lay in a full queen-size bed with boutique sheets, the other half of it occupied by a ‘galpal’ who loved her to death. It was all a long jump from Bright, three hours drive north-west of here, with an alcoholic mother and a small-town personality.

Checking that there was a dry tissue in her hand, Cherie closed her eyes and cast her mind back to the morning Karen had gotten the phone call.


‘Karen,’ Helen put her head around the bedroom door. ‘There's a policewoman on the phone for you. What you been up to?’

Cherie and Karen were in bed fooling around on this Sunday morning. They had made bacon and eggs with strong coffee and returned to bed to eat. It was a Sunday ritual. If the door had been closed, it would have meant that some pretty serious love was in session, but that had already been attended to before breakfast. Now there was just some light canoodling and giggling.

‘Police?’ asked Karen lazily. ‘Well, I've got nothing to hide.’ She began to climb out of bed. ‘But I've got nothing to show either,’ she added.

She padded swiftly to the wardrobe and put on her dressing gown, before cruising down the passage to the phone in the living room. She reflected that it was fortunate Helen had not come in five minutes before when she had been removing little pieces of dried mucus from Cherie's nose. Intimacy knew no bounds. Now what could the coppers possibly want with her?

Ten minutes later, she wandered into the kitchen where Helen and her partner Li had been joined by Cherie, hair uncombed and wearing a thick shirt and underpants. She obviously knew Sunday morning ‘pleasure sessions’ had concluded, at least for the time being.

Karen looked at her with an expression of neutrality.

My parents were killed yesterday in Goulburn,’  she said quietly. ‘A truck hit their car.’

Karen's parents had founded a breakaway church group which had grown links throughout Victoria and New South Wales. It wasn't a cult, but the last Karen had heard, it was rapidly expanding and taking on this persona.

Resistant to joining in their weird beliefs, Karen was left to raise herself for weeks on end as her parents toured and preached in other states. A stack of cash for food and the regular company of her schoolfriend Cherie, Karen quickly adapted to a parentless lifestyle. She was even quicker to adapt to Cherie teaching her the technicalities of girl-on-girl ecstasies.

‘Karen,’ Cherie stepped forward. ‘Come and sit down. You've had a shock.’

Karen shook her head, turned and poured a cup of coffee from the electric pot. She turned back towards them and all three women, two of them hospital interns, noticed the barely perceptible tremor in the hand that held the cup.

‘It might be a shock, but it's not all that unpleasant,’ she said. ‘We weren't exactly all that close, were we?’

Cherie had to admit that was a distinct understatement. Helen and Li knew Karen had been long since estranged from her parents, but surely in a situation like this...

‘Those two were always unfinished business, from the moment I left to come to Melbourne,’ Karen went on, sipping her coffee. ‘I think now the business is about to be finished.’

‘You're the only living relative, aren't you?’ asked Cherie.

Karen considered.

‘Well, there's me and there's Aunt Violet,’ she said. ‘Mum's sister. She was on the fringes of the church, but she wasn't as full-on as some of the nuts it attracted. Someone will have to make the usual arrangements for this sort of thing. I'll go and ring her.’

She took a deep swallow of coffee and went back to the phone.

The three women stood for a moment, taking in Karen's lack of grief or emotion. Only Cherie knew the full story and she figured she wasn't likely to see anything along those lines. It wasn't hatred. Karen didn't hate anything or anybody. It was just indifference.

She trotted back to the bedroom to dress and comb her luxurious long hair. She arrived back in the kitchen just as Karen got off the phone.

Looking pensive, she said, ‘I'm going back to Bright. I have to see Aunt Violet and remove some things from the house.’

Cherie opened her mouth to speak.

‘I have to do this alone, honey,’ Karen went on, no doubt reading her thoughts. ‘Aunt Violet doesn't get around much anymore. I'm going to help her make the preliminary arrangements. It'll be a private cremation. She already called the funeral home. I get the impression she had about as much time for her sister as I did, though.’

‘These things take time,’ said Cherie, a little miffed at being excluded. ‘Will you be back tonight?’

‘I don't know-I hope so,’ Karen answered. ‘Look, if I'm not, could you let Professor Harkness know what's happened? I've got lectures with her all tomorrow morning.’

Wordlessly, Cherie nodded.

Karen reached across and took Cherie's hand.

‘Aunt Violet knows I'm gay, but I don't want to complicate things any more than I have to. It's bad enough going back there in the first place.’

She began to lead Cherie out of the kitchen.

‘Come and help me get dressed.’

Not bothering to shower, Karen was dressed in ten minutes. Again, Cherie noted the barely perceptible tremor in her hands. The psychologist in her wanted to tell Karen that she shouldn't be doing this alone; or at least not with some bitter-sounding old lady for solitary company, then thought better of it. This situation was a little too close for comfort.

There was some more conversation, a hug and a kiss, then Karen let herself out into the cool Sunday morning air to go back into the life she had left behind.


Cherie returned to the present, fighting a large, pre-sneeze tickle in her sinuses.

‘Ahhh…ahhhh…Ohh…’ she breathed, and pinched the bridge of her nose, fighting the sneeze down. Her right nostril was dribbling badly so she blocked the left to blow it gently with the tissue she still held.

Climbing slowly out of bed, she stood swaying a little as her head thudded dully and her throat ached. When the unsteadiness had passed, she walked gently into the en-suite to use the toilet. That completed, she put on her dressing gown and padded down the carpeted passage to the well-appointed kitchen. There, she made toast and drank some orange juice, swilling down some painkillers with it.

She looked through the kitchen window at the day. A light sou’westerly wind was blowing and the sun shone warmly. She drank more orange juice and uttered a long, froggy belch that sounded like a chainsaw. It was alright, she considered with a giggle, to be unladylike behind closed doors, whether it was belching, farting or not covering her sneezes. Karen was as blasé about her bowel habits as Cherie was about her sneezes.

She stared out the window, her cold temporarily forgotten, and wondered what had been running through Karen’s mind that Sunday morning.   


Karen gunned her elderly Ford down the Hume Freeway, trying to keep her thoughts under control. This morning’s sudden news hadn’t overly disturbed her. If anything, it brought the closure she had wanted all this time. She wondered if there was a will. Not that she would get anything. They would have left the bloody lot to the church.   

As noon approached, she reached Mount Alpine Road. Not far now. She started to see familiar sights and thought of the times that she and Cherie had spent at the Kissing Cave. Their secret place for their secret life.

As she drew closer, Karen finally permitted herself a few silent tears. For the parents who had never shown their daughter love. For the girl who had shown her love and life and made it all worthwhile.


Cherie felt like she ……what was the phrase she had seen in a Lynda LaPlante novel? ‘Been done and left.’ Yeah, that was it. That described her this morning.

‘Bed’s where I want to be,’ she decided.

Halfway up the passage, she stopped abruptly and grabbed for the tissue in her dressing gown pocket. There would be no pinching the bridge of her nose for this one. With a ragged, hitching breath, she covered just in time, doubling over.


Her mouth and nose were smeared with fluids and she saw that the tissue was all but destroyed.

Hurrying to the bedroom for fresh supplies, she remembered her last cold several years ago when they had still been living with Helen and Li in Carlton.

‘My, what big sneezies you have,’ Karen had said in her demure little girl voice.

‘All the better to spray you with, my dear,’ Cherie had returned. They both burst into laughter at this exchange, Cherie gravitating into a violent fit of coughing, but she didn’t care. Sometimes, being sick was such fun.

Back in the bedroom, she blew her nose and cleaned up the aftermath of the sneezes. Hanging up her dressing gown, she returned to bed, feeling the painkillers start to kick in.

With a fresh tissue in her hand, once more Cherie returned to the past.

To the surprise of the three women and Cherie’s delight, Karen was back that evening, hurrying in the door at about 7.30. Immediately, Li jumped up and began preparing a hot meal for her.

‘Private cremation, as I said,’ Karen told them. ‘Thursday afternoon back in Bright.’

‘You’re going, then, I take it?,’ Cherie asked her, a little woodenly.

‘I have to,’ replied Karen. ‘Aunt Violet’s going and she needs a ride. And I want to see this finished.’

Not having eaten since breakfast, Karen vigorously attacked the roast lamb and vegetables that Li heated up. Over this, she alluded to a few minor points, including her childhood home, that had fallen into disrepair since she had left. The land it stood on was probably worth more than the house.

‘Did you find out if there’s a will?’ Cherie asked, as Karen finished eating.

Karen nodded. ‘There is,’ she said. ‘It’s with a firm of solicitors right here in Melbourne of all places. But I shouldn’t worry. I doubt if I’m even in it.’



Cherie forgot that she was holding a tissue and sneezed neatly into her palm, drenching it. She sighed and began cleaning up, blowing her nose vigorously. Her vagina throbbed with a light arousal that she did not have the energy to fix with a quick masturbation session. A few minutes later, she was about to return to the past when she heard the front door open.

‘Karen’s coming!’ called a cheerful voice, it’s owner skipping down the hallway.

‘You would be if I had anything to with it,’ said Cherie in her congested voice when appeared in the doorway.

‘Promises, promises,’ beamed Karen.

She sat on the foot of the bed and took in the myriad of used tissues and her lover’s bleary face with its red nose.

‘You had sneezies?’ she asked wistfully.

Cherie nodded.

‘And blowies?’


Karen felt her inner lips moistening with lust, but fought it down. She was wearing a long black skirt with a matching jacket and a white chiffon blouse. The immaculately coiffed junior paralegal did not partially undress to masturbate in the middle of the day. Tonight would do nicely.  She bounced up.

‘I’m going to get you some hot soup,’ she announced. ‘I’ve got another meeting at two o clock. It’s only down at South Yarra and it should be through by five.’

It was barely 12.30 and South Yarra was ten minutes away down Toorak Road.

‘I’ll get up and eat with you, then,’ said Cherie. ‘I’m sick of bed anyway.’

‘What have you been thinking about, lying here all morning?’ asked Karen, helping Cherie into her dressing gown.

Cherie shot her a startled glance.

‘Well, odd that you should ask, but I’ve been thinking about how we got this place.’

Karen made a face and eyed the pile of tissues on the bedside table.

‘Sort of a Kleenex memories thing, then?’

Cherie laughed impulsively and then covered her mouth as she began to cough.

When she had recovered, they walked down the passage to the kitchen, Cherie habitually watching the sway of Karen’s slim buttocks.

Karen prepared soup for them both and Cherie put on fresh coffee. They ate, Karen talking excitedly about that morning’s achievements.

Cherie’s throat did not allow for much talking and she paused several times to cough or blow her nose, staving off further sneezing.

Over coffee, Karen wondered out loud if the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service was missing its star psychologist and counsellor.

‘They’ll just have to cope without me,’ Cherie said. ‘I went there as a trainee counsellor, the ink still wet on my diploma- and within a year, I was almost running the place. I need a break.’

Cherie took her work with the gay community very seriously. She threw herself headfirst at cases none of the other counsellors wanted and her superiors were already eying her off as future management material. They were constantly berating local politicians for more funding and resources. Even Julie, in Canberra, Australia’s political hub, had explained several shortcuts to Cherie, who had thrown her weight behind the continual requests. But it was slow going as most politicians did not want to be associated with this area, even though there were a couple rumoured to be involved in it.

They cleaned up the lunch dishes and Karen supposed, sadly, that she should get back and begin the afternoon.

‘What do you want me to…to….AHISSHOO!...HAISSHHOO!’

Cherie spun round and gave vent to a pair of massive uncovered sneezes. Belatedly, she felt in her pocket for a spare tissue.

‘Oh, bless you, baby,’ said Karen, wrapping her arms around her friend from behind, her arousal now acute.

Cherie blew her nose and wiped her lips.

‘Urrgh,’ she said. ‘I think I’ll go back to bed.’

‘Good idea,’ nodded Karen. ‘What are you taking for that, anyway?’

‘Panadol and a Vicks inhaler,’ Cherie told her. ‘After my last effort, I’m never going near the hard stuff again.’

Both girls recalled too vividly the cold Cherie had caught when they were still in high school. A cocktail of medicines, cheerfully thrown down by Cherie, had resulted in a nightmare that had terrified them both.

‘Very wise,’ approved Karen. ‘Best thing you can do today is rest. By the way, were you trying to ask me what I wanted for tea?’

‘Yes. What do you want?’

‘I’ll get some pizza. I won’t feel like cooking and you won’t feel like doing anything.’

‘That’s probably best, hon,’ nodded Cherie. Her sinuses tingled as if agreeing.


Karen turned into Toorak Road and, before too long, was pulling into the rear car park of the advertising firm her company was representing.

‘This is no good,’ she thought. ‘No good at all.’

She zapped the car doors and entered the building, nodding to a couple of employees she knew from her visits there. The senior advisor on her team hailed her and said there would be a delay getting started as the CEO himself wanted to sit in on the meeting and he was still on his way back from the city.

‘All right,’  said Karen. ‘I need the loo first anyway. Too much coffee. See you in a minute.’

She cruised unhurriedly up the corridor to the spotlessly clean ladies room. Checking that it was empty, she locked herself into a cubicle and raised her skirt. It didn’t take long. Her expert fingers moving skilfully and Cherie’s recent sneezing in her mind’s eye- and ears- she arrived at a gasping, panting orgasm within a minute. After a few moments to recover from the high, she used the convenience provided to indeed get rid of some coffee.

Then, cleaning herself up and straightening her clothing, she checked her perfume and eyeshadow. Perfect. Feeling considerably better, she left the room. There were contracts to sign and money to make. Busy busy.

Cherie made the bed and threw away the several dozen used tissues that had accumulated over the morning. Already, the distraction of Karen’s presence was fading and she felt worse than ever.

Sitting on the bed, she wondered whether to get into it or go watch TV. Then abruptly, another sneeze was coming on. She grabbed three tissues and decided it was stifling time. Teach her nose a lesson. Cherie didn’t stifle a great deal. However, she knew from experience that it was the one thing she shouldn’t do in the middle of a cold. Nevertheless, she held her tissues and panted, bringing the sneeze on. Almost at the point of no return, she covered and pinched her nostrils shut.


Her nose was on fire at this treatment. She was gasping for breath and knew there was no hope. The tissues still covering, she let go.


She paused, panting. The tissues were a spitty mess. She grabbed three more and blew her nose, clearing it considerably. Her head pounded and her throat ached.

‘Ick,’ she muttered. ‘Bed.’

A couple of minutes later, she was snuggled under the covers, nude this time. She had pulled down the roller shutters until the room was only dimly lit.

Lying there, she realised that since that last sneezing fit, she had become more aroused than she had been all day. Karen’s earlier presence had more than likely been a contributing factor. Cautiously, she opened her legs and let her fingers do some exploratory work. Her sex responded enthusiastically and soon, she picked up the pace, images flashing across her vision. Karen hugging her, nude as ever. Karen on top of her, sneezing gently, as she had done during a lengthy lovemaking session, several weeks ago. Then her favourite, Cherie with her nose and mouth buried between Karen’s exquisite rear cheeks, gasping with excitement as Cherie pleasured her, front and back.

Then, Cherie involuntarily cried out Karen’s name in the empty house as waves of pleasure took her, her cold forgotten.

A minute later, she lay sated, a lazy smile on her lips. Drifting towards sleep, she drifted, as she had all day, back to the past.


Karen attended Professor Harkness’s lectures that morning. At lunch, she sought out her course administrator and explained the events of yesterday. He readily agreed to put Karen’s classes aside for the week, with the exception of a part-done assignment which could be done over the internet and e-mailed.

Karen spent the next three days working at her computer and making a number of quiet phone calls. She stood for long periods at the kitchen window, sipping coffee, deep in thought. She only left the house to go to her job at the nearby supermarket. Had to keep up an income.

That Thursday, she drove alone to Bright. When she returned, Cherie was at work. When Cherie returned, Karen was asleep. Cherie never did find out much about that day, except that Karen and Violet had been but two of a small congregation of mourners. Not much to show for a life.

Karen returned to University and pushed herself, night and day. She caught up on the week she had lost and overtook it, working several assignments at once. Two weeks later, Helen found slumped asleep over the computer at two in the morning.  Having seen enough, the young doctor told her friend she had to slow down before she made herself ill with exhaustion. Karen reluctantly agreed. Life returned to normal.

Three weeks later, the law firm handling her parents’ estate called and requested Karen’s attendance at a will reading. Karen was mildly surprised, but quickly recovered and said that the only time she had free was a Monday evening and that she would be bringing her female partner with her. Her tone brooked no argument.

The lawyer was a Ms Phillips, a trim woman in her mid-forties. She found her late clients had a beautiful daughter, a commercial law student, who was accompanied by another equally beautiful young lady. Ms Phillips didn’t bat an eyelid. Whatever their preference, they seemed like nice young folk.

‘Your parents left their affairs in extremely good order,’ she told Karen. ‘The only bequests are to yourself, it seems.’

Karen’s ears pricked up considerably. She exchanged a barely perceptible glance of expectation with Cherie.

‘There are two properties and an amount of money.’

Karen leaned forward.

‘Two?’ she enquired.

‘A three-bedroom house in Bright. You grew up there, I believe.’

Karen shook her head.

‘I want nothing to do with it,’ she said firmly. ‘Put it on the market as is or auction it off.’

‘We’ll get to that, later,’ said Ms Phillips. ‘But there is another property at Toorak. A two bedroom unit that your father bought for ….entertaining purposes. But probably a tax shelter, as well. It’s quite luxuriously appointed, I understand.’

Both women noticed how Ms Phillips hesitated before saying ‘entertaining,’ but made no comment.

‘I didn’t know about that,’ said Karen. ‘But I haven’t had much contact in the last three years. In fact, I’m surprised I’m in the will at all.’

‘Well, you also have some money left to you,’ said Ms Phillips.

‘Money’s nice,’ Karen deadpanned. ‘How much? A few thousand?’

‘More than that,’ replied Ms Phillips. ‘Less fees and charges and taxes, and excluding the sale of the property in Bright, it comes to around two and a half million dollars.’

Cherie’s mouth dropped open in astonishment. Karen’s world greyed over and, for a few moments, she forgot to breathe.

The two of them looked at each other, completely aghast.


Cherie fancied she’d heard the front door open and close. Her beloved was home. Must be late. The room was dark. Her nose was hurting, but she felt better than she had all day. Content, she drifted off again.


Where in the hell did all that money come from, anyway?’ Cherie asked in wonderment.

It was two days after the meeting with Ms Phillips, and the girls were drinking cappuccino in a coffee shop at the Toorak Village shopping centre.

‘From what I can gather,’ Karen mused, ‘it was from donations to the church. From both here and overseas. Dad creamed a lot of it off the top, I suspect. Bought the unit with it too. And I wouldn’t like to guess at what the ‘entertaining’ was that was going on there.’

They had earlier gone to look at the unit and agreed it was going to be their new home.

‘Won’t the people who made all those donations come looking for their money when they hear your father’s dead and that he misappropriated their funds?’ asked Cherie.

‘Somehow, I doubt it,’ Karen replied. ‘I don’t think they would want anyone to know they’d been in possession of the proceeds of crime, anyway.’

Cherie’s eyebrows shot up.

That’s right,’ Karen went on. ‘I had a talk with Aunt Violet the day of the funeral. I found out why she severed her ties with the church, and pretty much with mum and dad, too.’

She leaned forward and began to talk earnestly to Cherie.


‘You look marginally better than you did at lunchtime,’ Karen observed when Cherie wandered into the lounge-room at seven p.m. Her eyes were puffy from sleep and her nose was red.

‘Hi, sugarbunny,’ said Cherie. ‘I heard you come home earlier, but I guess I dozed off again.’

Karen cocked an eyebrow.

‘Dozed off? You were dead to the world when I checked on you.’

Cherie shuddered.

‘Let’s not say dead,’ she replied. ‘Dead could ruin my whole holiday.’ She pulled a tissue from her pocket and wiped her nose absently as Karen eyed her.

‘Do you think it would be best if you slept in the spare room tonight?’ she asked, replacing the tissue. ‘You’re very busy at work. We can’t have you getting sick as well.’

Karen made a face. ‘I get even less colds than you,’ she said. ‘And when was the last time we slept apart?’

‘The dorm at uni,’ replied Cherie. ‘And even then, we’d end up in each other’s bed several nights a week.’

She was about to say something else, then quickly brought her hand up to her mouth. ‘Atisshoo!’ she sneezed, lighter than she had all day. Quickly, she fumbled the tissue from her pocket again as her nose began to run. The cold was losing steam, slowly, but surely.

‘If I have to, could we have some fun first?’ Karen spoke in a quiet, hesitant voice which betrayed her fear that Cherie might say no.

‘Of course we can,’ replied Cherie, wiping her nose again.

Karen beamed with delight.

‘Come and have some pizza,’ she enthused.

Cherie followed her into the kitchen and lifted the lids on the two boxes.

‘Ham and pineapple, and then Mexicana with onion, chillies and hot tamales.’

‘That’ll clear your sinuses out,’ Karen told her.

‘True, but what about you?’ Cherie asked. ‘The windows in you office don’t open. You’ll suffocate people tomorrow.’

Karen began to giggle. ‘Death by farting,’ she managed to get out. ‘Do you think I’ll stand trial for it?’

That sent them into gales of laughter, which set Cherie coughing uncontrollably. But she didn’t care. It felt so good to laugh.

After she had eaten, Cherie took a hot shower, feeling even better as the steam worked at her nasal passages.

Half an hour later, her head was buried between a gasping Karen’s legs , her tongue skilfully weaving its magic. As she often did at the heights of passion, Karen cried out an appreciation of Cherie’s saliva and large sneezes before she was overwhelmed by a toe-curling orgasm that rolled through her body for a good ten seconds.

Afterwards, Cherie lay with her head on Karen’s chest, the smell of her newly cleaned skin and hair in Karen’s nostrils. Cherie declined any reciprocal attention as she still felt far from a hundred percent and, admittedly, she had masturbated after Karen had left at lunchtime. By the weekend, though, she would be ready for some serious fun.

‘You really want me to sleep in the spare room tonight?’ asked Karen, a little miffed.

‘It’s for the best, hon,’  Cherie told her. ‘You know I’ll be better tomorrow.’

‘Okay,’ replied Karen. There was obvious disappointment in her voice.


Time seemed to blur. Cherie opened her eyes. Karen was gone and her own head was back on the pillow. Must have gone right out to it again, she thought. She rolled over and let her mind drift to the thought that had occupied it all day.


The estate of Karen’s parents was settled inside four months, the monies being recovered from a complicated series of offshore bank accounts.

Karen then moved very quickly. She asked Ms Phillips to put everything in joint names, hers and Cherie’s. That gave them both equal ownership of a home unit valued at $20,000, an investment portfolio of two million dollars and a joint bank account containing $503,000.

Karen then spoke to the administrators at Melbourne University and paid up the remainder of hers and Cherie’s course fees. She bought an ex-demonstrator Mitsubishi, walking away from her old Ford without a backward glance.

Then, after a stack of new clothes and a luxury bedroom suite with the most expensive bedding available on the market, there was still $460,000 left. They bid a sad farewell to Helen and Li who knew that Karen had come into some money with her bequest, but not how much.  No one else ever would, except Ms Phillips and her colleagues who had probated the will.

The house in Bright was sold for $170,000, the monies going to Karen, who grudgingly put the money in a separate account and used it to make sure that her Aunt Violet wanted for nothing, as her health was not a hundred percent.

With money worries a thing of the past, both reduced their hours at the supermarket to an as-required basis, spending long hours studying.

Before they knew it, they had reached their final six months of university.

One afternoon, Karen collected the mail and found a letter from the State Coroner’s office. An inquest had been held into the death of her parents. She said nothing for the time being, waiting until after tea that evening to discuss it with Cherie.

‘That took a while,’ said Cherie. ‘It’s been eight months.’

Karen nodded. ‘It was a strange sort of accident, that. No one could work out how or why it happened, including the truck driver.’

‘What’s he been charged with? Culpable driving? Vehicular manslaughter?’

Karen shook her head.

‘He was cleared of any blame.’

‘Well, what were the findings?’ Cherie demanded. Honestly, Karen and her sense of the dramatic.

‘Suicide,’ answered Karen, and passed her the letter.


Cherie stirred into wakefulness and looked at the clock. She felt the virus diminishing as it always did pretty quickly with her. But her nose and bladder both required attention. She could fix them both in the toilet. She plucked tissues in the darkness. Toilet paper was hard on the nose. She started to get up, then sensed a presence beside her in the bed. Wasn’t Karen in the spare room? She reached down and, sure enough, there was that perfect little pair of buttocks that she would know by touch anywhere.

The little minx, she thought, waiting until I was asleep. She realised that, apparently, no one or nothing kept demure little Karen away from her soulmate. Cherie watched the sleeping figure for a moment, then, unable to repress a grin, got up and went to the toilet.


Cherie’s cold was soon gone and life continued. In the final week of her holidays, she rang her boss who told her that they were getting three new counsellors and a considerable range of funding.

‘I heard someone in Canberra has been pulling strings for us,’ she said.

Cherie had a sneaking suspicion she knew who had caused the strings to be pulled, but said nothing.

Sunday morning, they lay in bed canoodling gently with each other, wanting to make some heavy love, but not ready to give up the pleasures of foreplay.

Karen was teasing Cherie’s nipple with her tongue when suddenly, a familiar expression crossed her face. She raised her head, bringing it closer to Cherie’s.

‘I’m gonna…Atchoo…choo…choo….choo…’

She had squeezed her eyes shut and released four of her very quiet, kitten-soft little sneezes, her face almost touching the other girl’s.

‘God, I love it when you do that,’ Cherie breathed. ‘You look so damn cute.’

‘Awww…You just love me because I’m cute,’ Karen deadpanned, rubbing her nose.

‘Plus you’re rich,’ Cherie pointed out. ‘And you’ve got a darling little pussy and a superb bottom.’

‘Will you love for all those things?’ Karen teased.

‘Yes, and anything else you’ve got,’ answered Cherie at once.

‘Prove it,’ whispered Karen and flipped athletically over on top of her.

Their lips locked hungrily.

Foreplay was over.


In the early hours of Monday morning, Cherie drifted into wakefulness. She glanced at the clock. 1.25. God, wasn’t it time for work yet? She itched to get back there. Half-asleep, she again fell to thinking how they had ended up here.

So much tragedy and dishonesty had transpired around them to bring it all together, yet she and Karen had always been happy just to have each other. With a love they couldn’t get anywhere else.

There were, she thought, no answers to some questions. And other answers that you really didn’t want to know anyway. If there was somebody watching over her and Karen, it must be what they had ordered.

Smiling, she snuggled into Karen’s warmth and drifted back to sleep.